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KPBS Midday Edition Segments

How To Get Your Arts Fix While On Lockdown

 March 27, 2020 at 12:17 PM PDT

Speaker 1: 00:00 Welcome to midday edition on this Friday. And you know, normally on Fridays morning, mid day edition, we speak to a PBS arts editor, Julia Dixon, Evans, about the art events going on over the weekend and what you might want to go out and see. But California's governor is issued a stay at home order to slow the spread of the Corona virus in many arts organizations across the County have closed their doors, but some local arts groups have gone online. Julia joins us now to give us some examples and welcome Julia. Juliet. Tell me first of all about this trend of arts going virtual. Speaker 2: 00:41 So it's one of those things that's out of necessity, both professionally and also I think emotionally and for building a community, artists need to create and share work and we need to experience it. So right now they're turning the Instagram stories, Facebook live, broadcasting their performances or teaching workshops on YouTube, or if there are multiple people involved performing in zoom. Speaker 1: 01:07 Okay. Here's one example. Via Musica has a virtual event this evening. Now, if you haven't heard of via Musica, can you tell us about them? Speaker 2: 01:16 Yeah, they're a local nonprofit music school based in Sorento Valley and like many educators over the past few weeks, their faculty have had to switch recently to running all their private lessons to classes and other programming online. Speaker 1: 01:32 And what is this evening's event? Speaker 2: 01:35 So they're running this live from the S series and Kyle Adam Blair is a local piano and music teacher and he'll perform some contemporary piano works, some of which are having their quote internet live premiere. And he'll also be discussing the pieces throughout the show. You can tune in from seven to eight o'clock tonight on Facebook live or on zoom. Speaker 1: 01:59 Well since you folks are tuned in right now, let's listen to a clip of one of those pieces. This is thicket by Stewart Saunders Smith Speaker 3: 02:13 [inaudible] Speaker 1: 02:19 and that's they get by Stewart Saunders Smith moving on. Giulia bread and salt has been offering up artists interviews. Any of them stand out to you? Speaker 2: 02:30 Yeah, they've been running these pretty lively and fun casual discussions, uh, Tuesday through Saturday with curator Thomas DeMello and bread and salt artists. And today at one o'clock. So right after, um, artists, Melissa Walter who does these really intricate geometric works and paper sculptures, she's worked as a science illustrator for NASA and the use of space and astrophysics and her art is relieve phenomenal. And then tomorrow, the binational artist Panka who recently opened a new exhibition at bread and salt called I am the architect of my own misfortune. And that opened shortly before all the closures. She's also the artist behind their iconic smiling ice cream cone mural on the side of their building. Speaker 1: 03:20 Okay. So if you tune in tomorrow at one o'clock, what do you think? What can you expect to see? Speaker 2: 03:26 Well, it's a, it's like a split screen chat on Instagram with the curator and then the artist I'm generally at home or in their studio discussing their work. And um, sometimes they take questions. You can type in your questions on Instagram stories as well. Speaker 1: 03:41 Okay. And so that's what a bread and salt is offering up virtually. Uh, let's move on to the old globe because that San Diego theater has a few events planned this week. Walk us through what we can expect from the old globe. Speaker 2: 03:56 Well, they're moving a lot of their things online, a lot of workshops and talks and on Tuesday evening they're hosting thinking Shakespeare live with the Globes artistic director, Barry Edelstein. It's a chance to learn the behind the scenes process artists and directors use to understand Shakespeare and through the help of Edelson who has literally written the book on this, on performing and reading Shakespeare as an actor that'll be hosted on the old Globe's Facebook page on Tuesday at six 30. Speaker 1: 04:27 Yeah, he's a very interesting guy. We've had him on the show many times. Very, very interesting to listen to. And uh, you're listening to midday edition right now. I'm Tom fudge and I've been speaking with KPBS arts editor, Julia Dixon Evans. Also joining the conversation now or a couple of other people. Chris Goldsmith from the belly up. Chris, thanks for being with us. And Jennifer, Eve thorn of Moxie theater. Welcome to you Jennifer. Speaker 2: 04:57 Thanks for having me. Speaker 1: 04:58 Now Jennifer, the Moxie theater is launching a virtual play festival this weekend, which sounds pretty elaborate. Why don't you talk to me about the play this weekend that's going to kick off the series. Speaker 4: 05:10 Uh, the play that starts this evening is called safe distance. And like all of the plays in our zoom Fest, it is written to be set in a zoom conference call. So the characters are aware that they're on a zoom conference call and are all quarantined in their homes. So these, these plays were created for this moment in time. Speaker 1: 05:32 Well, uh, performing a play on zoom. It sounds kind of funny that there are plays that are like meant to be on zoom. It seems like a world away from performing on stage in front of a live audience. Why don't you talk a little bit, I mean, expand a little bit more on those differences. Speaker 4: 05:47 Of course. Uh, you know, we did try to rehearse, uh, some scripts from, uh, already existing plays to see if we could do those on zoom. And they felt like they were lacking something. And so we thought, you know, theater is live. It embraces the nature of being live the mistakes that can happen live. Why don't we create something that embraces the issues that we're all facing, trying to have these video conferences in zoom. So safe distance is actually a fictional, uh, a meeting for a pressed juice company called getting fresh and they are trying to navigate quarantine company secrets and the struggle to mute and unmute yourself. And uh, rehearsals have been fun. Uh, they have had, you know, the actors are all in their own homes and the things that happened to you happened to them, their children run in, in the middle of a scene. But the great thing about it is that anything that can go wrong during the performance just enhances the experience of the performance. Speaker 1: 06:47 It sounds like, it sounds like you're saying that, uh, kind of the essence of this is the liveliness of it. That's what makes it different from watching something on TV. Speaker 4: 06:56 Exactly. And so every single performance is different. You know, TV does TV really well and theater, we do live well and so we chose to go live. Speaker 1: 07:07 Jennifer, Moxie is also accepting submissions from playwrights for future zoom plays. You want to talk about that? Speaker 4: 07:14 I would love to. We are looking for playwrights. Moxy focuses on producing women's work. Uh, so female playwrights who are writing scripts that are also sentence zoom. The only stipulations are that they need to be four characters or less because we've discovered mobile devices will only fit four faces on a screen. They need to be 20 pages or less. Speaker 1: 07:35 All right. And, uh, um, Jennifer Eve thorn is with Moxie theater. Now let's get, uh, Chris Goldsmith involved in the conversation. Chris, how's the belly up doing going digital? Speaker 5: 07:49 Well, we're certainly busy. Um, we've had, uh, we've had a tough be enclosed and we also, uh, work with the music box. And so between the two venues, we've rescheduled a over a hundred shows so far and we keep waiting to see how this goes. But in the meantime, uh, both venues have been working on, uh, virtual, uh, alternatives to stay connected to our audience. And, uh, for the belly up that involves the belly up, uh, live website, which is belly-up live.com where we have a downloads of, uh, almost a hundred different shows available, um, to, to our fans and fans of the band. Speaker 1: 08:29 You know, Chris, we're going to actually play one of your most popular downloads from the belly up live. This is blew by the Jay Hawks and it was recorded live on the belly upstage in 2015. All right. Speaker 6: 08:55 [inaudible] Speaker 1: 08:58 you know, one thing that's interesting about this, Chris, is proceeds, I am told from this are going to artists who have been impacted by Corona virus. How our performance, how are performers surviving financially right now? Speaker 5: 09:13 Well, they're definitely struggling. I mean, one of the nice things about a lot of performers is that they do have a revenue from songwriting and um, you know, from recordings, but most performers, the majority of their money is from, from live music. And um, so right now they're in shock. Most of them that I talk to trying to figure out, uh, how to get through month to month. Um, a lot of them are moving to live stream performances and a lot of them are having some success with that. Um, that's definitely sort of a, a micro in, yeah, I mean John legend is doing it too, but locally, uh, it's become an interesting micro, uh, industry that, that the music box is actually going to be supporting and, and we'll be talking more about that next week. Um, but also just through the sale of downloads and, um, you know, uh, other recordings, it all supports the artist. It all flows back. Speaker 1: 10:03 And Julia, I like to ask our other guests, Julia or Jennifer, is there anything that you'd like to add? I mean, how are, how are these economic times affecting artists? Speaker 4: 10:14 I think it's been a particularly challenging time for theater, like music. We really rely on people on, on groups coming together. Uh, I know all the actors in our production, we're slated to go on stage and their performances have been canceled and that means a significant loss of income for a lot of people who rely on those shows to pay their rent. And so, uh, we're just trying to find a way to get money to artists and, uh, this is how we're, this is one of the creative ways we're doing it. Speaker 1: 10:44 Okay. That was Jennifer. I think we heard from um, Julia, anything from you? Any last word? Speaker 2: 10:49 Yeah, I think it's so uncertain and it's bleak. We're not even sure the magnitude of how difficult this will be for artists and groups and a lot of local performers and artists were already struggling to make a living from their art. A lot of them have second jobs in either the, um, the performing arts industry and the service sector. They're working as box office workers or as educators. So all around they're struggling to pay rent, not just sell their art. Speaker 1: 11:17 Okay. Well thank you very much. This has been a the weekend preview on mid day edition. I've been speaking with KPBS arts editor, Julia Dixon Evans, Moxie theatres, Jennifer Eve thorn and the belly ups. Chris Goldsmith, thanks to all of you. Speaker 5: 11:34 Thank you. Thanks Tom. Speaker 6: 11:45 [inaudible] Speaker 1: 11:45 midday edition is co hosted by Jane Heineman and Marine Kavanaugh and produced by Marissa Cabrera, Brooke, Ruth. And Pat Finn art segment producers are Beth hock Amando when Julia Dickson Evans, midday edition senior producer is Megan Burke, executive producers. Natalie Walsh, Rebecca Chuck Cohn directed today's show. Emily Jane Koski arranged our theme music, which is composed by the artist catching flies. I'm Tom FID. Stay six feet apart. Remember that, but have a good weekend in anyway. Thank you very much.

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So what if we can't go to a concert or play? San Diego may be on lockdown because of the coronavirus, but that doesn't mean performers have stopped performing or that we can't see or hear them.
KPBS Midday Edition Segments